Karen Minotti (Mike's mom)

My mother (pictured with me above) is an absolute sweetheart and an angel. She also knows almost nothing about video games. So I thought I’d show her some trailers for the biggest games coming out this fall and record her reactions. The results…well, they were pretty special.

Below is the dialogue that I had with my mother while we watched the videos. I’ve put her words in red. And yes, these really are her words.

Assassin’s Creed III


Alright, what’s the first one?

This one’s called Assassin’s Creed 3.

Assassins? Oh, that’s not good. Is this the Revolutionary War?


Well, what’s an Assassin’s Creed?

It’s the assassins’ moral code.

Oh. It’s like the oath they took or something?


Like the Apostle’s Creed?


So this is another shoot-them-up?

No, you don’t shoot.

But they have guns [referring to the soldiers].

Yeah, but you’re not them.

I’m not going to be the eagle, am I?


[Connor, the player character, appears.]

Oh, he looks like an eagle.


He turns into an eagle.

No. I think that’s just editing.

Well, what side is he on? The American or the British?

They say he’s not on either side, but he seems to only fight the British.

Oh. So he’s on our side.

[Connor rides towards the entire British army as they ready their guns.]

And he’s invincible, I guess. He’s going to fight the whole Revolutionary War, and the other ones are just standing back watching.

[Connor starts fighting the British.]

Oh, he knows kung fu, too. Look, they’re just watching him!

[Sarcastically] They’re in awe. Why should they kill themselves when this guy wants to do it? Oh, here comes the Americans. They’re going to help him out now. They probably think, “Hey! If he can do, we can do it too!”

[My mom spends the rest of the trailer “oohing” at the acts of the violence.]

You know I don’t like these kinds of…is that George Washington?



[The trailer ends.]

So what did you think of that one?

I liked the historic value of it.

What don’t you like about it?

The killing.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II


Alright, this one is for Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

[Sarcastically] Oh, this sounds good. Is it like the other Call of Duties?


Oh, I’m not going to like this.

What do you know about Call of Duty?

You kill people! No wonder our country’s gone to pot.

[David S. Goyer’s credit appears. He’s the story writer and previously worked on Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.]

It’s the same guy who made Batman?

Well, he wrote the story.


Do you know what’s going on?

No. I have no idea. It’s always good versus evil. Is this a war movie?


Another war movie?



It’s a game. Not a movie.

Well, whatever.

It’s in the future, though.

Oh. Well, I won’t be here.

[The trailer ends.]

Now how much does this one cost?

They all cost $60.

Oh my!

What did you think of that one?


PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale


Alright, this one’s called PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.

What happened to Mario and Luigi?

They’re actually next.

This is another battle.

Well, this one’s a fighting game.

They’re all fighting games!

[I begin to laugh immensely.]

They are!

[Kratos appears.]

Oh my, he’s creepy.

[Now Sweet Tooth appears.]

Ah! I hate clowns, so I’m not going to like this one.

[Sly Cooper appears.]

Oh, it’s animated.

It has a bunch of characters from different games.

[PaRappa the Rapper appears.]

Looks like Underdog.

No, that’s PaRappa the Rapper.


Does this look fun?


Why not?

Well…it sort of looks like Mario, because you jump. It looks like…um….

What does it look like?

Like The Avengers. Like a low-class Avengers.

So what did you think of that one?

Eh, no.

New Super Mario Bros. U


This is the new Super Mario Bros. game.

Ooo, they fly.

This is for the new Nintendo system coming out this fall.

Just in time for Christmas. Yeah, now this is like what I remember watching you guys when you were little playing. I think I could handle this one a little bit.

Does it look very different from what we played?

No. You still jump on mushrooms and bricks. I play this [she’s talking about New Super Mario Bros. Wii] with Masimo [a little boy she babysits], and he gets mad at me because I keep dying real fast. I don’t know on the controls what goes this way or that way. They should make a senior citizens controller.

What would that be like?

Umm…large buttons, and it tells you left, right, up, down, jump, walk…there should be a little ear piece that you put in you ear, and it’ll say, “Jump now!”

[I begin laughing.]

Or, “Don’t go there, go over here!”

[The trailer ends.]

That’s cute.

You like that one?


Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn (a live-action webseries that’ll promote Halo 4)


Alright, this is the last one.

[Sarcastically] Oh, darn!

[The trailer begins.]

Oh no, another Halo?

What do you know about Halo?

That you played it all night and that you had Halo parties. I don’t think it’s about angels. It looks like something from Star Wars.

[She attentively watches the trailer for a while.]

Is this a school? To learn how to fight?

I guess so.

Like the marines?

Yeah. This is like a show they’re making to promote the game. It’s not the actual game.

Oh. So they’re not going to be like real-life looking characters?

This is all live-action. Can you tell?

Oh yeah, I can tell that! Is this a real movie?

It’s not a movie; it’s like a show for the Internet only.


Do you watch shows on the Internet?

No. I don’t do anything on the Internet except shop.

[Two characters start kissing.]

So there’s some romance in this?

I guess so.

It’s not a chick flick game though?

I don’t think so.

They’re going down like dominoes. Are these guys from outer space or what?

They’re humans.


But they’re in space now.

Of course this is coming out for Christmas, too.

[The trailer ends.]

So what did you think about that.

[My mother grunts disapprovingly.]

Does it make you want to play the game?


So, there you have it! My mother didn’t seem impressed with any of the upcoming blockbusters, minus New Super Mario Bros. U. I guess she’s a pretty tough critic. Maybe she’d appreciate all those violent games more if I sit her down and force her to watch me play through them. I wonder what she would think of all the things people say during Call of Duty multiplayer. I think she may force me to go to church more often.